Magnussen to have shoulder surgery, out of worlds

Sat May 23, 2015 7:03pm EDT
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Double world champion James Magnussen has been ruled out of defending his 100 meters freestyle title in Kazan with a shoulder injury, Swimming Australia has said.

The 24-year-old, nicknamed "The Missile" by Australian media, will need to have surgery after testing showed the injury had reduced the strength in his left shoulder by up to 70 percent.

"Unfortunately surgery is the only viable option if I am to be fit for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Magnussen said in a statement.

The statement also indicated he would have the surgery in early June.

"I will now focus all my time and effort on preparing for the Olympics next year.

"I am looking forward to regaining full strength in my shoulder and getting back to my best performances."

Swimming Australia head coach Jacco Verhaeren will now name a replacement for Magnussen in the 50 and 100 freestyle and in the 4x100 freestyle relay team for the championships that run from July 24-Aug. 9 in Kazan, Russia.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Australia's James Magnussen celebrates after winning the gold medal in men's 100m Freestyle final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 27, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young